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Bradley Manning Not Guilty Of ‘Aiding The Enemy’

Bradley Manning is facing a whole laundry list of charges, but on the main one of aiding the enemy, Manning has been found not guilty. He’s still going to do a lot of jail time, rather than receiving a medal, though, and that’s another dark blot on American history.

Zinnia Jones has more on Manning the person.


Juan Cole reminds us that Manning was tortured, and compares him to Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian who immolated himself in protest.

Manning, like Bouazizi, is young. He also faced, with all his youth and inexperience and impatience, a political situation that was the result of criminality. Dick Cheney and John Yoo and Karl Rove and George W. Bush were responsible for creating a public image of government lawlessness that encouraged whistle blowing. They went to war against Iraq on false pretenses and in contravention of international law. They themselves tried to leak the identity of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA operative, to the press. They set up Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and Bagram as black torture facilities. They lied repeatedly to the American people (there was no looting in Iraq, no guerrilla war in Iraq, no civil war in Iraq, no torture practiced by the US in Iraq, no more than 30,000 civilian dead in Iraq, no need for more armored vehicles for our troops in Iraq).

The political situation Manning faced was also unyielding. Long after the American public turned against Washington’s Forever Wars, they are still being pursued, and are killing thousands of innocent civilians for war goals that range from the highly unlikely to the utterly phantasmagoric. Manning’s leak was an act of desperation no different in intent from Bouazizi’s self-immolation. He intended to protest, by putting himself on the line. He wrote in chat room, “god knows what happens now — hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms — if not & we’re doomed.” He did not intend to get caught, but he must have known the risks. His was a cyberspace form of self-immolation, a career-ending, decisively life-changing act that, however foolhardy or possibly illegal, was certainly courageous.

Manning is going to jail. Cheney, Yoo, Rove, and Bush walk free.

Comments

  1. says

    This is amazing news. I do hope that Manning comes back with a constitutional violation suit based on the Fourth and Fifth Amendment: how long has he been in solitary confinement while the government dragged its feet?

  2. machintelligence says

    They should give him a well deserves slap on the wrist, sentence him to time served, and admonish him to sin no more.

  3. says

    Wow, I’m surprised. I guess this country isn’t as messed up as I thought.

    It’s still clearly very messed up — but not as much as I thought.

  4. Sili says

    They should give him a well deserves slap on the wrist, sentence him to time served, and admonish him to sin no more.

    Don’t be silly! What do you think their crime was? Raping altarboys?

  5. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    They should give him a well deserves slap on the wrist, sentence him to time served, and admonish him to sin no more.

    Where does the torture he’s been through come in? Because solitary confinement isn’t just any kind of time served.

  6. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    janiceintoronto,

    As far as I can understand, it’s a win for not making a dangerous precedent, but it’s far from a win for Manning since his sentences can be added up to life in prison still. It’s a shame, and celebrating feels wrong considering his sacrifice.

  7. truthspeaker says

    One hallmark of both criminal organizations and abusive families is that reporting crimes to outsiders is punished much more harshly than the crimes themselves.

    The guys in the helicopter who shot at the minivan have never been prosecuted. And, needless to say, Bush was never prosecuted for giving false intelligence to Congress, or even told off by Congress for doing so.

  8. says

    My understanding is he won’t necessarily be going to jail for a long time. The sentence could be anywhere from time served plus a few months to life.

  9. says

    @janiceintoronto #7 – Actually, it is a big win: “aiding the enemy” is the constitutional definition of treason, and the only penalty for treason is death.

    If he is killed by the government, it becomes much easier to sweep everything that Manning leaked into the corner behind the door. Every day that he remains alive, there remains a chance that he will be vindicated. Why else would the government be so desperate to put him to death?

  10. says

    @Ace of Sevens #12 – Given the way the Obama administration has been treating Manning since his arrest 3 years ago, do you really think prosecutors would have settled for anything less that execution?

  11. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    If you actually think that he’s going to be given a sentence of “time served,” I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  12. David Marjanović says

    the only penalty for treason is death

    That would be flat-out medieval.

    It’s still a big win in that direction. As was, IIRC, discussed in the [Thunderdome] recently, “enemy” isn’t defined. The two most obvious options for what it might mean are “whoever the US is at war with at the moment” or “whoever the president says”. Well, the US isn’t officially at war, because Congress hasn’t declared any. Had the verdict been “guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemy”, that would have very strongly implied that the president can define treason by just declaring arbitrary people enemies. And that would be terrible. And unconstitutional. What could possibly go wrong?

  13. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    David,

    Wasn’t the catch that he has made information available to the whole wide world, which obviously includes the enemies?

  14. dianne says

    Two questions:
    1. Isn’t Manning properly described as “she” not “he”?
    2. If xe had been convicted of passing information to the enemy for making information available to the public, does that mean we’re the enemy?

  15. says

    Isn’t Manning properly described as “she” not “he”?

    I’ll follow Zinnia Jones:

    I’ve talked about Manning as male, because there’s been nothing but silence and denial on this front from his family and his attorneys, and I simply don’t know how else to refer to him.

    . . . does that mean we’re the enemy?

    Of course we are. Anyone who’s paying attention could have told you that.

  16. machintelligence says

    In the immortal words of Pogo “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  17. indicus says

    Among much else, Manning released codes used to electronically disarm IEDs. Something which might mean somebody’s loved one comes home in a bag. For that alone he deserves to be put up against a wall.

  18. dianne says

    @18: Good point. I’ll follow Zinna Jones’ example as well until/unless such a time as Manning can freely make a statement personally.

  19. Sili says

    the only penalty for treason is death

    That would be flat-out medieval.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    How dare you insult the Greatest Product of the Enlightenment™ thus?!

    The Constitution of the United States of America is Holey Writ, that must never be changed, cuz that would only remove from it Perfectitude!

  20. dianne says

    I’ve got to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. I was expecting a conviction. But maybe that would have been too obvious a violation of freedom of speech for people to accept. Right now. In a few years will we wonder why Manning was convicted or how he got away with so little punishment?

  21. Sili says

    indicus,

    Among much else, Manning released codes used to electronically disarm IEDs. Something which might mean somebody’s loved one comes home in a bag. For that alone he deserves to be put up against a wall.

    Because these magic codes have shown themselves to be sooooo efficient so far?

    Here’s a hint: perhaps if we stopped giving people reason to put up IEDs in the first place, maybe your beloved soldiers could get to go home alive and well.

  22. dianne says

    From the NYT article on the acquittal: “Private Manning is one of seven people who have been charged with leaking information to the press for public consumption under the Obama administration. Under all previous presidents combined, there were only three such cases. ” Things are not getting better under Obama.

  23. indicus says

    Sili, how effective or not they are is besides the point. They were intended to protect lives so revealing them is aiding the enemy pure and simple. And whether or not the war is pointless is even less relevant. The people in the field are still in the field and you seem to have no problem with using their lives to express your disagreement with foreign policy. Revealing that bit of information added nothing to any national discussion.

  24. truthspeaker says

    I would like to see evidence that he leaked those “codes”. They wouldn’t have been in State Department cables.

  25. lochaber says

    An IED is an Improvised Explosive Device – basically a homemade bomb, or some other sort of munition re-purposed as a booby trap of sorts.

    I’m highly skeptical of there being some magical code that will automatically disarm such a device, especially considering the wide variety of triggers such devices use.

    If you have any more info on this, Indicus, like a link or something, I’ll gladly read up on this, but what you said sounds like it’s baseless propaganda used to demonize Manning.

    Ever since Manning’s capture, there have been pundits and politicians scraping for instances of how the release of that information endangered U.S. troops, and I’ve not heard one credible claim, and I’m doubtful there is one.

  26. truthspeaker says

    lochaber

    30 July 2013 at 4:14 pm (UTC -5)

    Ever since Manning’s capture, there have been pundits and politicians scraping for instances of how the release of that information endangered U.S. troops, and I’ve not heard one credible claim, and I’m doubtful there is one.

    The judge apparently didn’t hear one, either.

  27. indicus says

    Some IEDs are set off by radio signals, some of which can be electronically jammed. This was mentioned early by one of the papers (Times? Post?) that first posted the leaks. And not nearly all the documents were diplomatic cables. Also, you can add the many individuals who risked their lives are interpreters, administration, etc who had their identities revealed and had to flee for their lives… The ones Assange nicely refers to as ‘collateral damage’. Nice to know that the hard left has no problem in using other people’s lives to express their righteous indignation.

  28. yazikus says

    Nice to know that the hard left has no problem in using other people’s lives to express their righteous indignation.

    Wut??

    Really? When we are talking about this particular war that is being fought for absolutely no good or justified reason? The war that the “hard left” opposes?

  29. indicus says

    I never said the Right has no value for human life either. Nor do I care how much egg on the face W and company get. But I do find it strange how many people are willing to lionize Manning and Assange considering how many lives both of them have put at risk (the latter admittedly).

  30. yazikus says

    But I do find it strange how many people are willing to lionize Manning and Assange

    indicus,
    I haven’t really seen anyone lionizing Assange round these parts. And I don’t think this post or the comments are really lionizing Manning either. Merely reporting on the status of his case and discussing his handling by the US govt. Just what I have observed.

  31. Denverly says

    @indicus

    A year and a half ago, WikiLeaks published the results of an Army test, conducted in 2004, of electromagnetic devices designed to prevent IEDs from being triggered. The document revealed key aspects of how the devices functioned and also showed that they interfered with communication systems used by soldiers—information that an insurgent could exploit. By the time WikiLeaks published the study, the Army had begun to deploy newer technology, but some soldiers were still using the devices. I asked Assange if he would refrain from releasing information that he knew might get someone killed. He said that he had instituted a “harm-minimization policy,” whereby people named in certain documents were contacted before publication, to warn them, but that there were also instances where the members of WikiLeaks might get “blood on our hands.”

    The above quote is from a New Yorker article from June 7th, 2010. If I am interpreting this correctly, a year and a half before June 2010 would have been January 2009. Manning “leaked” his cables in early 2010. Think about that for a few minutes, then tell me exactly who deserves to be put up against a wall for exactly what. Lionizing someone into something they are not is just as bad, in my opinion, as demonizing someone for something they didn’t do.

  32. says

    But I do find it strange how many people are willing to lionize Manning and Assange considering how many lives both of them have put at risk (the latter admittedly).

    So, other people were more direct – who did they put at risk, and how? None of what I read was particularly damaging.

  33. indicus says

    Yaz, what part of ‘give a medal’ doesn’t sound like lip nixing? Den, do you really think he read all of those 250,000 documents he released? The simple fact that the enemy knows such technology is being explored would result in a change in tactics endangering lives. Including Iraqi civilians, the ones who bore the brunt of IEDs.

  34. yazikus says

    Indicus,
    No one ever said “give a medal”. PZ did say in the OP:

    He’s still going to do a lot of jail time, rather than receiving a medal, though, and that’s another dark blot on American history.

    Which I still don’t think is lionizing, and none of the comments have suggested a medal either. We are talking about how the US govt. is handling his case.

  35. yazikus says

    Yaz, what part of ‘give a medal’ doesn’t sound like lip nixing?

    Er, ‘lionizing’. Goddamn spell check :/

    Snap, I thought I was learning a new term for lionizing. I’m a little disappointed.

  36. Denverly says

    I don’t think for a minute that he read every cable released, Indi. That’s not my point, nor was it your original point. You wrote “For that alone he deserves to be put up against a wall.” Do you stand by that comment, yes or no?

  37. says

    I’m curious what insane breed of logic it is that states that because other people’s lives were puta t risk, they are automatically villains. It’s not that many cultural heroes of the USA aren’t lionized, such as the Founding Deities, or Lincoln, but when I think of the wrongs these people have managed to do, “technically put lives at risk” is a pretty low down one. I mean, Lincoln put lives at risk when he didn’t immediately permit the south’s secession, but that part? was pretty much fine. We generally consider this an acceptable thing for a sufficient good, rather than prima facie evidence of ‘wrong’.

  38. eigenperson says

    I’d be fine with sending Manning to jail for endangering lives, as long as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and company get a sentence many times longer. They cost many more lives than Manning did. If you think Manning should have to face a firing squad for allegedly revealing technical information about IEDs in a way that could possibly have led to someone’s death, then what should be done to the architects of the war who definitely sent thousands of soldiers to their death over a lie?

  39. timanthony says

    That Manning is looking at 130 years of prison should help Russia decide to keep helping Snowden, which I hope they do. Russia is possibly the only country that the US can’t hurt without hurting itself just as much.

  40. swampfoot says

    @indicus:

    If you believe that the notion of jamming radio commanded detonations is any kind of secret, then I’ve got some terrible news for you about Santa Claus.

    And don’t think we didn’t see that you changed the subject when asked for evidence of your claim, shitbag.

  41. says

    @indicus #30 – How many noncombatant civilians has the US military mowed down because its actions were being kept a secret? How many non-US lives might have been saved by drawing public attention to the crimes against humanity being done under orders of the Obama administration?

    Or are only American lives worth anything?

  42. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Manning clealry directly put people at risk, far more so than opening fire on a minivan

  43. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Not to mention that this guy was already tortured for “endangering lives” and this little turd licking goose stepper wants him executed to.

    Fuck this country, it deserves every goddamn self inflicted loon it’s legion of moron civilians dish out.

  44. says

    Maybe the US government perceives the people as their enemy.

    Code names for military operations are generated with the enemy in mind. Market Garden, Overlord, etc.
    In those cases you don’t want the goals of the operation itself betrayed by a leak of the name of the operation.
    You need to deceive the enemy, and use code names to do that.

    These days we have operations with names like Enduring Freedom, Resolve, Noble Eagle, OK Corral, Clean Sweep, All American Tiger, etc.

    Who are those names intended to fool or mislead?
    Who is the target of deception with THOSE names?

  45. says

    Am I the only one who feels slightly awkward about ignoring the names and pronouns ze chose before all this shit went down in favor of hir “legal status”, what hir “lawyers say”, and the words of “what spokespeople say”. Especially when one considers that it’s actually in the best interests of the movement to raise outrage about hir treatment to gloss over those elements because a lack of name and pronoun change allows an easier time building up a movment around hir.

    I dunno, I feel a bit awkward because I know people in the movement surrounding hir personally, but I also felt slightly odd about how they used the transgender elements of Manning to march in this year’s Trans March, while also doing everything in their power to avoid acknowledging ANY aspect of hir character that was anything less than 100% cisgender.

    Though that did lead to my favorite moment of this year’s Pride, where a fellow transwoman in the group I was marching under started screaming at the Manning people as they were walking past us: “Her name is Breanna, oh my fucking god!”

    I dunno. The whole thing is an abominable joke overall and one more proof that we haven’t had a “Justice” system in this country in a long damn while. The whole case, much like the Guantanamo “cases” should have been thrown out at the very first sign of torture, but hey, I also think Zimmerman should be locked up in a cell where he can’t hurt anybody ever again, so what do I know?

  46. anchor says

    “Nice to know that the hard left has no problem in using other people’s lives to express their righteous indignation.”

    They’re dyslexic?

  47. Usernames are smart says

    Among much else, Manning released codes used to electronically disarm IEDs. Something which might mean somebody’s loved one comes home in a bag. For that alone he deserves to be put up against a wall. — indicus #20

    a) You have no idea how IEDs work. They aren’t like on TeeVee, with a little led display counting down until 00:00, unless the right code is entered to “electronically” disarm them. You seem to lack the basic circuit knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.

    b) Take your hypothetical “someone’s loved one (might come) home in a bag” and shove it up your ass. Produce a body that was caused directly as a result of Manning’s information dump, or GTFO and go back to watching reruns of 24, so you can hoggle to Bauer’s torturing, sorry “enhanced interrogation”, the bad terrorist man, thereby saving the innocent civilians from certain death at the last minute.

    c) My DD-214 says “honorable”. What about yours?

  48. Usernames are smart says

    Whoops, missed these:


    none of the comments have suggested a medal either.

    Well let me go ahead and suggest it right now then. — Jafafa Hots (#49)

    I know just the one, too.

    They should give him a well deserves slap on the wrist, sentence him to time served, and admonish him to sin no more. — machintelligence (#2)

    The UCMJ doesn’t work that way. Members of the military have fewer civil protections than civilians, and parts of the constitution do not apply in specific situations.

  49. robro says

    indicus: So if Manning, Assange, Snowden, etc are to be “put against a wall” for endangering lives, then what about Dick Cheney? It’s pretty much a given that Dick was behind outing Valerie Plame as a CIA operative because her husband, a career diplomat, had gone public that Dick’s WMD storyline to justify the Iraq invasion was pure BS. Exposing her as a CIA operative may have put at risk everyone who worked with or associated with her. In addition, it inadvertently clued anti-American terrorist organizations into tactics of the US government, such as using a diplomat’s wife for covert ops (John Le Carré must love it).

  50. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Jafafa Hots,

    none of the comments have suggested a medal either.

    Well let me go ahead and suggest it right now then.

    Seconded.
    —–

    Cerberus,
    Would it be ok to use gender neutral pronouns for now, or better to go with Breanna and appropriate pronouns?

  51. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    I wonder whether its possible or likely that Bradley / Breanna Manning could get a presidential pardon?

  52. DrVanNostrand says

    @57
    Unless you’re being ironic (hard to gauge on the internet), that is the most ridiculously deluded post I’ve ever read, and that includes Christian apologists.

  53. dianne says

    I’m afraid I’ve been converted to the idea of using male pronouns and the name Bradley for now. Mostly because I don’t think it’s a good idea to remind people who are sending someone to a prison as a male inmate that he may be transgender. That just seems like a set up for abuse. I hope that the sentence will be short and Manning can be who he or she really is without coercion or fear, but that simply isn’t possible now. And yes, the NSA is reading this. The only question is whether they care enough to set Manning up for more torture or not.

  54. jolly says

    Manning was following the law exposing those war crimes. He is required to report the crimes which he did to one superior after another and they all covered it up. How can Manning be imprisoned for exposing war crimes and the perpetrators of the war crimes go free? The U.S. is becoming a third world country when it comes to overt corruption. I am really sorry I voted for Obama.

  55. says

    Beatrice @56

    Well, I’m not really the arbiter, just stating my opinion on the matter as someone whose “legal status” is also painfully separated from my actual reality. I tend towards gender-neutral pronouns and just using Manning myself due to the Fog of Incarceration that is over how ze currently identifies (though all the “fears” requiring misgendering for “safety” puts a giant spotlight on the issues of our current Incarceration system and its treatment of trans* people.

    But your mileage may vary.

  56. truthspeaker says

    indicus

    30 July 2013 at 5:47 pm (UTC -5)

    Yaz, what part of ‘give a medal’ doesn’t sound like lip nixing? Den, do you really think he read all of those 250,000 documents he released? The simple fact that the enemy knows such technology is being explored

    Here’s what you don’t seem to understand. The people laying those IEDs are not my enemy or the enemy of the American people. Their lives are not worth any more or less then the lives of American soldiers.

    The press is supposed to be neutral and not take sides in military conflicts.

  57. Chris Gauthier says

    Don’t be sorry you voted for Obama, jolly. Be sorry Obama was the best possible choice among those with a realistic shot at the office. Romney/Ryan (or McCain/Palin) would have been worse in every way Obama is bad. That’s not even to mention the undermining of reproductive rights, minority rights, consumer protections, private sector regulations, whatever paltry scraps of international respect Bush et al left us with and many other things I am sure to be forgetting.

  58. truthspeaker says

    Yeah, I’m not sorry I voted for Obama, I’m sorry he was probably the best choice under the circumstances.

  59. dianne says

    I am not sorry I voted for Obama, but I’m frightened that the best choice under the circumstances is the person who has charged more people with “leaking information to the press” than any other president in the past. I have no illusions that Romney would have charged fewer people, but this abuse of power is frightening whoever is doing it. The US is already #32 in the world for freedom of the press per Reporters Without Borders and it may fall further next year with this sort of event going on.

  60. dianne says

    Who needs a free press when you can have a Ministry of Truth?

    Well, given that the Manning trial and similar cases make it clear that the free press=the enemy…I guess the expectation is that no one does.

    Something I never realized about the book 1984 until…well, until after 9/11/01…is that “Big Brother is Watching” is not a threat: it’s a reassurance. Big Brother will keep you safe from the evil Eastasias/Eurasians. You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. The NSA is only interested in finding terrorists. Profiling is done with the best of intentions. Nothing to see here, move along.

  61. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Something I never realized about the book 1984 until…well, until after 9/11/01

    It’s a problem with hindsight; time machines don’t exist. It was always too late.

    I being to think that 1984 was not an arbitrarily chosen date and rather it was intended to seem both too soon and too far off at the time of publication. A date both imminent and far away and yet inevitably approaching.

    Yes, it was always too late to do anything about the present. That’s another problem with hindsight; the future is always now.
    ____

    I’m afraid I find little joy in the fact that Manning wasn’t found guilty of treason. It seems likely that it will be someone else, all to soon I expect, who will be so convicted. What bother me the most is that all that seems to have happened is the delay of the inevitable. The matter of treason hasn’t been definitively settled. Is it really a victory for the American people? I think I’d find myself a little more fearful than not at this point.

  62. dianne says

    @Timothy: Your comment made me realize something that had been bothering me about the verdict but I couldn’t quite put into words: It feels like a compromise designed to be just lenient enough to make us feel safe. Manning wasn’t convicted of treason, so we’re supposed to feel that there is no problem, no danger, no risk to freedom. But he was convicted of other crimes, which sets the precedent for others to be prosecuted and risk going to prison for life for the simple act of whistle blowing. That is, it’s just intimidating enough without going overboard and making people actively rebel.

  63. dianne says

    *Thomathy. Sorry.

    And maybe I’m just paranoid and the gas lights are the same height as they always were.

  64. scourge99 says

    What great and amazing thing did Manning do that deserves a medal? He’s a criminal. Whereas Snowden narrowly tailored the leaks to the PRISM program that is unconstitutional. Manning just leaked as much information as possible without any real goal besides leaking as much classified information as possible. Manning is without excuse unless you are so deluded as to believe that being a conscious objector is an excuse to break laws.

  65. truthspeaker says

    scourge99

    31 July 2013 at 12:13 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    What great and amazing thing did Manning do that deserves a medal?

    He let the American public – and the world – know what the State Department was doing in its name. We need more leaks like his. Cockroaches hate sunlight.

  66. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Dianne, I believe that it is exactly how you’re meant to feel. But what should scare you more, perhaps, is not that someone could be similarly convicted, but that there’s still the looming presence of treason for whistle blowing. The problem with the not guilty verdict, as I see it, is that it doesn’t represent a precedent not to convict, because it’s still very poorly defined. Just look at what the prosecution tried to argue in favour of that conviction.

    You’re meant to be worried and worse. That’s my take-away.

  67. David Marjanović says

    Wasn’t the catch that he has made information available to the whole wide world, which obviously includes the enemies?

    But that’s it: if “enemy” means “whoever the US is at war with”, then the US has no enemies right now. Congress hasn’t declared any war.

    For that alone he deserves to be put up against a wall.

    No. It’s a stupid idea to punish murder with murder, let alone what you think Manning did with murder.

    They were intended to protect lives so revealing them is aiding the enemy pure and simple.

    Legally, there’s no war, no enemy, and no treason.

    If you think Manning should have to face a firing squad for allegedly revealing technical information about IEDs in a way that could possibly have led to someone’s death, then what should be done to the architects of the war who definitely sent thousands of soldiers to their death over a lie?

    That’s another argument against the death penalty: if the just punishment for one murder is execution, what is the just punishment for two murders?

    Who are those names intended to fool or mislead?
    Who is the target of deception with THOSE names?

    “The first casualty of war is truth.”

    I being to think that 1984 was not an arbitrarily chosen date and rather it was intended to seem both too soon and too far off at the time of publication. A date both imminent and far away and yet inevitably approaching.

    …Also, it’s a transparent inversion of 1948, the year the book was written.

  68. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    David Marjanović, oh well then. I suppose it makes sense that it was written in the year preceding its publication.

  69. David Marjanović says

    Of course I don’t know if that was the only factor in choosing 1984. If Orwell had wanted to set it “long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away”, he’d just have done that.

  70. dianne says

    Orwell happened to write 1984 in a year where the inversion made sense and resulted in a book set in the moderately near future. If he’d written it in 1945 he likely would have chosen a different title, but happenstance and art worked together in this case. (Also, within the context of the book, it’s not at all clear that 1984 is the real year of the story…)

  71. anchor says

    @ chigau,

    “Who needs a free press when you can have a Ministry of Truth?”

    And with the Ministry of Truth comes a Prefect of Policy.

    Then things get real colorful.

  72. says

    Manning is looking at 100+ years of potential prison time.
    Sgt Robert Bales – remember him? He shot 19 Afghan civilians in cold blood – may be eligible for parole in 10.

  73. says

    Addendum: the “kill team” guys in Afghanistan – David Bram – 5 years, elgible for parole in 3 years. Calvin Gibbs – life with possibility of parole in 10 years. Andrew Holmes – 7 years… Etc.
    They shot for fun 3 afghani civilians, mutilated and posed with the bodies, then filed false reports.

    The US chopper crew that gunned down Reuters’ camera team – somehow was never identified (apparently the army doesn’t have a clue who is flying what cobra gunship and expending thousands of rounds on an given day) …

    But, by all means, show no mercy toward a whistle-blower. Let the full weight of the state fall upon Manning.

  74. says

    So if Manning, Assange, Snowden, etc are to be “put against a wall” for endangering lives, then what about Dick Cheney?

    Indeed. How many soldiers died in Iraq? How many Iraqis? Now that we know the war was started knowingly under false pretenses, can we call it a crime? How many lives did Cheney endanger?
    And Rumsfeld? With his absurd theories about counter-insurgency and lightweight force, how many lives did he endanger in Afghanistan? Never mind the Afghans, of course.

    It’s ridiculous to make comparisons to the various administrations’ self-promoting leaks, when they committed far more serious crimes. Crimes that endanger and will continue to endanger lives. Thanks to Bush and Cheney does any US serviceperson who is captured alive expect anything other than to be tortured?

  75. scourge99 says

    The US chopper crew that gunned down Reuters’ camera team – somehow was never identified (apparently the army doesn’t have a clue who is flying what cobra gunship and expending thousands of rounds on an given day) …

    The chopper crew did nothing wrong. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to understand that hanging out with a group of armed men who were attacking US troops while not wearing clothing identifying you as news reporters is a stupendously stupid idea. G

  76. Anri says

    The chopper crew did nothing wrong. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to understand that hanging out with a group of armed men who were attacking US troops while not wearing clothing identifying you as news reporters is a stupendously stupid idea. G

    “Hey, they knew they were in a bad part of town, and they sure were hanging around with the wrong sort of people! Still, maybe if their skirts had been a little longer, nothing bad might have happened…”

  77. says

    The chopper crew did nothing wrong. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to understand that hanging out with a group of armed men who were attacking US troops while not wearing clothing identifying you as news reporters is a stupendously stupid idea. G

    What decade are you actually from? ‘clothing identifying them as news reporters’? PErhaps a smashing grey suit and matching fedora? In fucking Iraq? Jesus tapdancing christ, they shot people who weren’t even remotely a threat.